On July 29, 2019 Public Justice Foundation awarded Cohen Milstein with the “Public Justice’s 2019 Trial Lawyer of the Year – Finalist” award for the firm’s work in Englund v. World Pawn Exchange, LLC, et al. (Circ. Crt., Cnty of Coos, Ore.), a wrongful death case of first impression in Oregon state court and nationally, addressing the legal liability for federally licensed firearms dealers involved in online straw sales.
Each year, Public Justice Foundation presents its prestigious Trial Lawyer of the Year Award to five groups of attorney(s) across the United States who made the greatest contribution to the public interest within the past twelve months by trying or settling a precedent-setting, socially significant case.
Public Justice determined that Englund was such a case. Prior to Englund, the law was clear that straw purchases from in-person dealers were illegal, but no regulation or legal authority directly addressed the obligations of online gun retailers to detect and prevent these sales.
As a result of key decisions during the litigation of Englund and the terms of the settlement, important legal precedent has now been established at the state and federal level on gun dealer responsibility and a message has been sent to the gun industry about how to safely sell guns online in the future.